Six years ago when my daughter Vivienne was about 7, she decided to sell some of her drawings to make some extra money. She knew about instagram, so she taped several small drawings up on the living room wall and began pricing each one, usually around $1.00 each. She asked me to post each one on to Instagram so my friends could buy them.
I was pretty reluctant, but I did as I was told. The first picture sold to a complete stranger named Mara who seemed nice, and agreed to come over the following day and pick up her artwork. She said she was going to bring an artist friend along who was visiting from New York. Jason Polan came with Mara that day.They went through a big pile of Vivienne’s artwork with her to see more because there weren’t many on the wall. Jason was super excited and bought 2 pieces ( one was a drawing of a hot dog and the othr was a Ketchup bottle with a face on it ). As they looked through the pile of drawings Vivienne said, ” I don’t like these at all”, to almost all the drawings. Jason responded to her as though he was speaking to one of his peers, ” I know it’s really hard to look at old work”. Which was hilarious to me
We didn’t know anything about Jason at the time, just that he was an artist and lived in New York, and that he was really nice. Im so sad because this week I learned that Jason is no longer with us. I came to love his work and followed it closely. Jason loved drawing, he loved New York and he loved making people happy with his artwork.
Along with taking on the impressive goal of drawing every person in New York, Jason also started The Taco Bell Drawing Club a weekly gathering for him and friends to draw at whichever Taco Bell he happened to be near. This week there are Taco Bell Drawing Clubs happening all over the country in Jason’s honor. His friends, and fans are gathering in his honor to celebrate his life, eat tacos and draw. I went to a Taco Bell Drawing Club in Glendale today and met a bunch of incredible artists, writers, and friends of Jason. Here are some photographs.
A couple of years ago my friends Christa and Eric and their two kids moved from LA up to the Central Coast where Christa grew up. Christa dreamed of moving back up to the Central coast with her family by the time she turned 40, and they did it!
They have two kids that they are home schooling, lots of guests coming and going, and tons of projects happening all the time.
We’ve gone up to visit them a few times a year since they moved, and it’s been incredible to see all the work they’ve done since they moved. The ranch is an amazing place for their kids to grow up. Spending time in nature, learning responsibility doing ranch chores and incorporating their lives into their home school curriculum.
Before moving from LA, Eric and Christa opened Collage Coffee , with their partner Kevin. They sold their share in the business, but Eric is still pretty serious about coffee and makes a spectacular cappuccino for the guests who come by. He uses a sweet La Marzocco an industry standard for specialty coffee shops.
Some of his favorite roasters are 49th Parallel, Four Barrel, Little Wolf & Brutal. On a recent trip I brought up a bag of Devocion Wild Forest I had at Document in LA. We made some pour overs that were pretty perfect!
The view from above the valley, Copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2020
Last year they renovated their house, and converted the tack room off the barn into a guest suite ( it’s super cozy ). Below is Christa last Winter in the new Tack room bathroom. They used the leftover tile Eric’s bought from his friend Faile for Collage to cover the shower interior..rad!!
Also, they created a studio for Eric in the shed where he is hand silkscreening calendars and art for friends and clients. Last year they hosted 40 + people for Thanksgiving, planted lots of fruit trees and are now working on their vegetable & flower gardens… Oh I forgot the sheep and lots of other stuff… It’s a lot!!
You can follow along on their journey on instagram where Christa documents her family and the ranch in a beautiful way that is honest and beautifully photographed. Check out Christa’s work here – she’s a lifestyle photographer and commercial director. See more of my work on my website & my instagram feed.
Moving from a small NYC apartment to a spacious Park Labrea 2 bedroom has meant that Greg and Mike can spread out a bit, add to their record collection, have a guest room and for the first time garden! Their place is a combination of vintage finds, artwork that Greg has collected over the years, and pieces that Mike has made like the cameos shown below.
This month I visited Sunnylands Estate and Visitor center. It was a memorable day, touring the estate, which was the former home of Leonore and Walter Annenberg, and hanging out in incredible Visitor’s center and gardens.
The first three images are from the Visitor’s Center garden, which was designed by Landscape Architect James Burnett who, “used Vincent van Gogh’s Olive Trees of 1889 as inspiration for this masterpiece view of the Center’s unique gardens.
Burnett carefully crafted nine acres of desert, designing 1.25 miles of walking paths that meander through more than 70 species of native and arid-adapted plants from North and South America, Africa, and the Mediterranean area. The gardens were carefully conceived to appear different in every season with variations that create a memorable sensory experience.
The bottom 6 images were taken in the garden of the Sunnyland’s estate. The estate was designed by architect A. Quincy Jones, and is a jewel box of Hollywood Regency architecture, filled with their original period furnishings, artwork and many historical artifacts from their private and public lives.
May 1st was the four annual LilySarahGrace craft fair in Hollywood, California.
Coming together again at Milk Studios, in a giant space filled with talented, generous and kind volunteers, beautifully fluffy clouds, and balloons dipped in glitter, was a day created by two friends, Jennifer Levy and Elizabeth Goetchius.
Jenny and Elizabeth, came together to create yet another amazing light filled day, supporting Children’s Public Art Education. The idea is simple, creating art, with children, for children. There is so much love in this event, and more specifically love for art, and respect for the importance of creating beauty in our lives. Shout out to all the artists, crafters, food makers, DJs, participants and, volunteers who made such a beautiful day possible.